A List That Will Move You Towards Your Dreams

Today, I'd like to share a personal story that pushed me towards living the writer’s life and an important step I took that really kicked things into high gear. A step you can take today if you’re ready.

Back in April of 2007, I was working for a regional magazine selling advertising and helping clients with their marketing.

The copywriting bug bit me about a month earlier when I discovered what a copywriter was … and I had just received my first installment of the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.

It was around this time I also found out my sister, Sue, had stage four colon cancer which had metastasized to her liver.

Besides the obvious, the problem was Sue lived 1,200 miles away and I had virtually no vacation time.

I used one of the few days I had available and made a trip to see her over a weekend.

As I watched helplessly from afar, the treatment they were giving Sue wasn’t working. So I approached my boss and the Human Resource department to see if I could arrange to have unpaid leave or work remotely.

Despite the fact that I was their top salesperson and could do much of my work by phone and email …

The answer was no.

More so than any other moment, I knew I needed to take control of my life and not be at the mercy of an employer.

But this time, it wasn't just talk. I'd had enough and I was determined to make it happen.

Copywriting was my opportunity.

However, I knew I needed help. I couldn’t (and didn't want to) do it all by myself.

Being a list person, I sat down and made what I called my “copywriting success list,” listing the core elements I thought I needed in order to be successful:

  1. Commitment to success. I wanted a way to stay committed to making this “copywriting thing” work.
  2. A way to ramp up my skills quickly. I needed to accelerate my learning so I could understand the concepts more quickly. I was looking for visual, hands-on, and audio learning combined. And I wanted someone who knew what they were talking about to review my copy and give me constructive criticism so I could get better and feel confident about my writing.
  3. A support system. My husband, family, and friends are amazing at supporting and encouraging me, BUT … they didn’t really understand what I was trying to do. They couldn’t review my copy, and they tended to let me off the hook too easily. I wanted the accountability that comes from reporting to peers. Plus, I’m a social person, and I knew I’d need some copywriting friends I could connect to who were working towards the same goal as I was so I would never feel alone on my journey. I wanted people who would let me know when they succeeded so I could be inspired and who would encourage me when I was frustrated. Similarly, I wanted someone who would get excited about my successes too.
  4. A step-by-step plan to steer me in the right direction and keep me on track. You always hear you should make a plan before you jump into something new. Thing is, I had so much on my plate with my sister Sue, a family to take care of, and a full-time job that making a plan was overwhelming to me. I wanted every step mapped out for me so I didn’t have to think about it and could steadily move forward, confident the steps I was taking were the ones that would lead me to success.
  5. An event where I could hear and meet the most successful people in the industry. My experience had shown me the benefits of finding a convention or big event that would motivate me and connect me to others in my field and expose me first-hand to what the top people in the industry were doing to be successful.
  6. Someone who could give me answers when I was stuck. I wanted to be able to pick up the phone or send an email whenever I had a question or problem I needed an answer to.
  7. Access to a comprehensive program. I desired access to everything necessary for me to be successful without constantly having to search for a piece of information I needed to reach my goals but didn’t have.

I had signed up for programs and courses in the past and didn’t always finish them …

I wanted this time to be different.

So list in hand – I signed up for AWAI’s Circle of Success.

It turns out that was the third best decision of my life. (The first being to marry my husband and the second was deciding to pursue copywriting.)

And while Sue died three months before I was able to quit my job, today I am no longer at the mercy of an employer. In fact, I more than replaced my income my first full year of copywriting, having quit my job five months after joining Circle of Success.

I’ve learned a lot along this journey, and this week I’ll share some of what I’ve learned that will help move you closer to the writer’s life, such as …

  • A simple way to make progress and move you from full-time employee to full-time freelancer while dealing with life’s distractions using a copywriting secret
  • Tips for what to do when you feel overwhelmed
  • How to find clients through connections you already have
  • What to do when you’re not sure if you know enough, are good enough, or whether you can do this

If you dream of having control over your life, I encourage you to make your own copywriting success list of what help you think you need to make that happen. And then share it with me by commenting below.

Or feel free to borrow mine. Then line up the resources you need and make it happen.

Six-Figure Copywriting Program

The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting

Turn the ability to write a simple sales letter into a successful freelance career. Find out how you can make a six-figure income working from anywhere you want as a direct response copywriter. Learn More »


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Published: May 9, 2011

13 Responses to “A List That Will Move You Towards Your Dreams”

  1. The big hurdle I fear in the future of this is getting those first opportunities that will give me the experience, the credibility, the portfolio of work to use for getting more projects, more work, and the ultimate reward of "the writer's life". I have trouble staying motivated to continue through this program simply because I am so worried about that hurdle.

    Guest (Jack)

  2. I'm currently in a dying industry. Each day the blame game captures another victim and the chances of advancement are like a game of musical chairs. The industry is like the Railroad of old-refusing to believe the end is near. I too am captivated by the fact at 14 years on the job I am one of the younger employees while most have 25, 30, 35 or more years in office. Rumors are spreading of layoffs and rightsizing.

    My wife and I have toyed with the idea of living on $800 per month.

    Guest (Jim L Poe)

  3. I'm currently in a time of limbo, stuck without a job and cannot afford to spend the amount that this site requests. In this economy $995 is expensive since that is how much I will have to utilize on more important things, such as bills. However, I know I'm cut out for a writer's life and welcome opportunities that do arise but only if they are affordable and within my grasp now. I do need to tell you, I'm one of those people who gets bored easily with long drawn out copy. I prefer when the copy gets to the heart of the matter quickly. I do not like to scroll and search for the point. Short, sweet, and to the point is my motto.

    Guest (Cheri )

  4. Cheri,I've been without work before too and know what it's like to conserve funds.Maybe start with the Accelerated Program for Six Figures. I can tell you personally I received my COS investment back many times over,making around $3500 my 1st full month copywriting just 5 months after I joined and over $60,000 my 1st full year.I ramped up much faster because of it & can site many others who've done the same. If you like short copy--web copy might be a good focus for you (PPC ads, emails, autoresponders,& web pages).Demand is HUGE too- not enough good writers to complete projects.

    Guest (Cindy Cyr)

  5. 1. Get out of the research rut and start DOING!
    2. Complete self-promoting marketing packet and mail
    3. Get a mentor
    4. Finish Making the Leap program
    5. Land clients
    6. Land clients
    7. Land clients
    8. Quit the 9-5 going nowhere daily grind!
    9. Enjoy the writer's life!

    Pamela5

  6. Love this, Cindy! I've printed it out and added it to my inspiration bulletin board!

    Kellie Craft

  7. Great inspiration and tips Cindy! So sorry to hear about your sister, but happy that the circumstances pushed you to take the action you wanted and deserved!

    Violet Meuter

  8. Pamela--great list! And I'll give you a tip--if you just start contacting people, you'll land clients! Good luck and don't forget to use the AWAI staff--they want you to succeed and from my experience they will help you!

    Kellie--Awesome! I feel honored to be on your inspiration bulletin board--and what a great idea!

    Guest (Cindy Cyr)

  9. Thanks Violet. Means a lot. I hope others don't have to experience what I went through--not being able to be with one of the most important people in my life when I wanted to be there most.

    Guest (Cindy Cyr)

  10. Cindy,

    Thanks for this letter. I appreciate your contribution.

    Your personal story was a tear-jerker. I am sorry about your loss: I really am.

    However, I am glad you quit your job. The job which prevented you from spending more time with your sister at a time when she really needed your help.

    It is really challenging, however, to escape from such dead-end jobs.

    We dislike taking risks, but you give us hope.

    It is more risky not to take a risk.

    Cheers. Have a happy life.

    Archan Mehta


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